Arsonist's Muse

We had one of those Chimnea’s on our back patio to light a little fire inside and create ambiance. I didn’t like it. I wanted to view the fire in it’s natural environment. I could only see a rectangle-shaped window of it’s performance.

I also didn’t like how the fire was trapped in there, kept small, not allowed to grow naturally. It reminded me of the way some Chinese women wrap their feet to keep them dainty. It’s unnatural.

So I built a fire pit in the back yard. I go out there every evening and burn papers, sticks, leaves, anything. It’s like playing with a pet on a leash. It is allowed some room to grow and dance, but controlled.

I have also learned to control my urge to set the fire free. I have been supervised by my parents, and have proven that I am safe with fire. They join me often, sometimes with marshmellows, or even let me roast hot dogs.

Here I muse, plan, and take in the wonder that is the element of fire. I stoke and calm it, play with it, and admire it.

Tonight it is unsatisfying.

I worked in the yard, making my fire pit bigger. I let it die down to baby embers, promising it that I would let it grow soon.

I moved the rocks out to make a larger circle, added a few bricks piled behind the shed to make it closed, and then gathered more food for the flames to consume.

I put some pine needles on the tiny glowing ashes and blew gently until they curled up black and smoked, then I added twigs and leaves, feeding it, coaxing it to grow hotter.

I continued adding sticks, larger and in a teepee shape, until I could lay branches as thick as my wrist in criss-crosses over the flames. It was a furious dance on my part, going out to the wood pile for more, and coming back to the hungry adolescent fire.

But soon I could place split logs on it and sit while they caught and settled heavily on the brittle burning branches, breaking them with their weight, sending sparks into the air to fizzle out in a firework display of orange.

“What are you doing?!” shrieked Mom. The fire was now 6 feet tall.

The End

23 comments about this story Feed